Center-periphery organization of human object areas

Nat Neurosci. 2001 May;4(5):533-9. doi: 10.1038/87490.


The organizing principles that govern the layout of human object-related areas are largely unknown. Here we propose a new organizing principle in which object representations are arranged according to a central versus peripheral visual field bias. The proposal is based on the finding that building-related regions overlap periphery-biased visual field representations, whereas face-related regions are associated with center-biased representations. Furthermore, the eccentricity maps encompass essentially the entire extent of object-related occipito-temporal cortex, indicating that most object representations are organized with respect to retinal eccentricity. A control experiment ruled out the possibility that the results are due exclusively to unequal feature distribution in these images. We hypothesize that brain regions representing object categories that rely on detailed central scrutiny (such as faces) are more strongly associated with processing of central information, compared to representations of objects that may be recognized by more peripheral information (such as buildings or scenes).

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Algorithms
  • Brain Mapping
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Photic Stimulation
  • Retina / physiology
  • Visual Cortex / physiology
  • Visual Fields / physiology
  • Visual Perception / physiology*